Papaver orientale

Oriental poppy

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


photo by Marg Cousens, copyright GAP Photos (177279)

Plant details

Oriental poppies are among the most flamboyant of the early summer flowers, with enormous, often frilly double flowers around 15cm (6in) across in loud colours many are vermilion red, and most have black bases to the petals. Although they are hugely spectacular, the foliage becomes untidy after flowering unless cut back a few weeks later. This does not harm the plants, but it does leave a large gap in the border unless vigorous, but late, neighbouring plants can spread to occupy the space.

Family: Papaveraceae

Genus: Papaver

Species: orientale

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Red

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 90cm

Spread: 90cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

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